Feeling of safety


Theme: Secure
Dimension: Living peacefully and feeling safe


Proportion of people who felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ walking alone during the day and night

Why does this matter

Wellbeing is impacted by safety at home, online, at work, in the community and in the world. Even those not directly impacted can feel an increase in vulnerability, stress, and anxiety if they feel their safety is at risk.

A general indicator that we can use to inform an overall sense of how safe Australians feel is whether they are comfortable to walk alone.

Has there been progress

This indicator shows that while 9 in 10 Australians feel safe to do so during the day, only 1 in 2 feel the same at night in 2021‑22 — less than the OECD average.1 However, this indicator has improved from 49.8 per cent in 2012‑13 to 53.8 per cent in 2021‑22 — indicating some progress.2

How does this differ across cohorts

In general, more women feel unsafe walking alone at night compared to men. In the 2016 ABS Personal Safety Survey which includes a gender split, 25.6 per cent of women chose not to walk alone at night because they felt unsafe compared to 4.2 per cent of men.3

1 (OECD) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (n.d) Safety – Australia, OECD Better Life Index, OECD website, accessed 5 July 2023.

2 (PC) Productivity Commission (2023) Report on Government Services, 6 Police Services, PC website, accessed 28 June 2023.

3 (ABS) Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016) Personal Safety, Australia, accessed 28 June 2023.

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